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OnMyWay

Bautista, Luzon

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Yesterday, we took a drive out to where my SIL's husband grew up and I gained some new perspectives.

To be perfectly honest, I have a very narrow view of what the "provincial" life is like, limited by the few places I have been to.  When some of you say you live in the "province", I picture a dirty, poor place because I base my thoughts on what little I have seen.  Olongapo is mostly a dirty and unkempt city, devastated by the base closure in the 90's.  It is coming back, slowly but surely.  Other than Olongapo, I have only really passed through provinces close to this area and Manila, and they don't seem very nice.  Not places I would live.

I'll just call my SIL's husband Ray.  Ray and my SIL are New Zealand citizens now and came for a 3 week visit.  Their last visit was 3 years ago and they said next time will be 5 years.   They stayed with us in Subic for a few days then we drove them to Ray's hometown, Bautista, where his mom and dad, sister and brother still live.  Bautista is the red box here and the family is on the west side.

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Bautista is a simple farming area but what impressed me was the cleanliness and orderliness.  We exited TPLEX at Carmen and after a short drive through Carmen, we headed west about 15-20 km to Bautista.  That main road was mostly clean with no trash, and the houses, no matter how simple or elaborate they were, were mostly clean and neat, with lots of flowers in the gardens.  There were some unkempt places, but not many.  The road was good and the traffic was not bad.  We saw a few nice parks along the road that appeared to be very nice.  What surprised me were how many of the houses on the main road were really nice with a lot of western influence.  Ray pointed out his grade school and high school, and they were really nice.  Far better than anything in Olongapo.  His high school has huge well kept grounds and well kept buildings.

Ray's parent's house is undergoing a new addition and renovations, so we didn't go there.  I met his parents in New Zealand 2 years ago.  They are in their 70's and stayed in NZ about 1.5 years.  If they stayed another 6 months they could have had permanent residency, but they went home.  They were bored and cold there, and preferred their old hometown!

Instead we went to his sister's house / compound.  Quite impressive!  His sister is a teacher and her husband is a school principal.  I think the property has been in his family for years.  There were other very nice houses around, but the same old Filipino thing;  they are often surrounded by poor (but fairly neat and clean) houses.  Next to their nice veranda, my kids got a kick out of the roosters being raised, and the barking dogs.  They had a very nice lunch waiting for us and had made some special things for me because Ray had told them what I like!

Here are a few pictures.  In the very front of the lot, there is a building with the mandatory sari sari, but I think they said they lease it out.  They used to have a swimming pool in that area but filled it in because they could not keep the neighbor kids out and were afraid someone would drown!

Looking in from near the gate.                                             Looking out from the front veranda.

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12 foot ceilings on the lower level, I think.

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I was impressed by their wood furniture and asked about it.  Years ago, the family planted mahogany trees in the back, which extends far to the back of the house and you can't see it in the pictures.  They harvested some of them and a local furniture maker built all of the wood furniture from them.  Very nice!

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1 hour ago, OnMyWay said:

When some of you say you live in the "province", I picture a dirty, poor place because I base my thoughts on what little I have seen.

I love living in the province, but I cannot do it.  Some of the rural areas are wonderful due to their lack of trash everywhere, due to lack of traffic, due to the quietness, due to the friendliness of the people, etc etc.

The ONLY problem for me is "the province" is freakin' boring.  I can enjoy it 4 or 5 days out of the week but at least once or twice a week I want to go to a mall or to stores that have quality merchandise and not local crap.  At least once or twice a week I want to go to a restaurant where I can order something other than filipino food and not be disappointed.  At least once in a while I want to be able to go to the local pub and say hello to friends.  And sometimes I want to go out after 7 pm and not find out that the streets have been rolled up.  But other than those things, (plus I almost forgot the poor quality Internet) I love living in the province.

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3 minutes ago, Dave Hounddriver said:

I love living in the province, but I cannot do it.  Some of the rural areas are wonderful due to their lack of trash everywhere, due to lack of traffic, due to the quietness, due to the friendliness of the people, etc etc.

The ONLY problem for me is "the province" is freakin' boring.  I can enjoy it 4 or 5 days out of the week but at least once or twice a week I want to go to a mall or to stores that have quality merchandise and not local crap.  At least once or twice a week I want to go to a restaurant where I can order something other than filipino food and not be disappointed.  At least once in a while I want to be able to go to the local pub and say hello to friends.  And sometimes I want to go out after 7 pm and not find out that the streets have been rolled up.  But other than those things, (plus I almost forgot the poor quality Internet) I love living in the province.

Yes, that about sums it up for me too!

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Dave, your bullet points about living out in the boonies are right on the money.  The quietness and the peacefulness is too serene for my blood.  Other than the normal animals and the farm critters making noises (which I didn't mind), I just about freaked out when Judy told me about the mystical creatures that lurk in the black darkness.  

Strange grunts and nearby footsteps made me cuddle up some more.  I was such a douche bag but Judy said that my snoring and my farts were worse than anything else.....he, he.  

I get no respect sometimes.......

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Maybe it's me but that looks more like middle class filipino neighborhood rather than what I picture as the province.

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53 minutes ago, earthdome said:

Maybe it's me but that looks more like middle class filipino neighborhood rather than what I picture as the province.

I should have taken pictures of the surrounding properties with chained up dogs and roosters!

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